Have you tried to form a sentence but struggled to find the right Spanish prepositions to connect your elements, or did you use sobre (over) instead of debajo (under), and you became the laughing stock of your Spanish friends’ group? Don’t let this happen to you again, and learn with me how to correctly say Spanish propositions in today’s post.
Prepositions are one of the essential elements in the Spanish language but also one of the trickiest ones. Even native language speakers usually misuse them, so don’t feel bad if you strike out sometimes. It takes time to master these little words, but once you do, you’ll see that your speech will become much more consistent and, eventually, more fluent. That is our goal.
Despite not being the most important part of a sentence, your speech will become incomplete and a bit strange without prepositions. Imagine that the waiter in a Spanish restaurant asks you, “¿Te gusta?” and you answer, “Me like.” How weird would that sound? You instantly would become that Me likey meme that has been floating around the internet.
To make sure you don’t sound dumb and an amateur talking in Spanish, learning the correct preposition and the right way to use it is important to achieve fluency in this beautiful language.
If you reached this article post because you’re willing to make that extra effort to learn how to use Spanish prepositions correctly, let me teach you everything you have to know about what they do and how to use them. You can thank me later!
What Are Prepositions?
Preposiciones, or prepositions in English, are simply words that have a very particular function in a sentence. They link important words in a sentence, like nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Imagine a sentence like a concrete wall to make it a little more visual. While nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives are the actual bricks, prepositions are the concrete that connects them and makes a strong wall.
Despite having a particular function, Spanish prepositions can be of a wide array of topics, such as location, time, or any other connection you can imagine. Chances are that you already know a few (and already have been using them) but don’t even know what they are. Indeed, when you look at some examples, everything will make sense.
And Now, How To Use Them?
Well, now that we know what they are here for, we must know how to use them, and precisely where to put them in our sentences. This couldn’t be more simple, and the key is in the actual word: The “pre” shows that it comes before something, and the “position” just reiterates that. They are usually put before a noun or a verb in your sentence.
Let’s look at an example and explore the sentence “The computer is on top of the table”:
The computer is on the table
Subject + verb + preposition + noun
La computadora está encima de la mesa
Subject + verb + preposition + noun
As you can see, both English and Spanish share the same structure in terms of the preposition location, coming before the noun in the sentence. These words are instrumental in your daily life. For example, you can use them when giving directions in Spanish.
Most Common Spanish Prepositions
After learning about the concept that is a preposition, let’s look at some of the most common Spanish prepositions and their use in the Spanish language.
Although you’ll only see that there are 21 different prepositions in Spanish, this language actually has locuciones preposicionales, or compound prepositions formed by a group of words constituting a preposition. But one step at a time, let’s first have a look at the simpler prepositions.
Meaning: This is a commonly used preposition in Spanish to describe possession, nationality, subject, and cause.
- Este es el coche de mi padre (This is my father’s car)
- Soy de Portugal (I’m from Portugal)
- Dame mi capa de lluvia (Give me my rain coat)
Meaning: To, at.
Meaning: in, on at.
Meaning: for, because of, by
- Me iré por dos semanas (I’ll be gone for two weeks)
- El está enamorado de ti (He’s in love because of you)
- Dos por dos (two by two)
Meaning: for, to
- Viajo para conocer nuevas culturas (I travel to know new cultures)
- Este pedido es para ti (This order is for you)
Meaning: on, about, regarding
- La computadora está encima de la mesa (The computer is on the table)
- Tengo preguntas sobre tu oferta (I have questions about your offer)
Meaning: Up to, until
- Puedo contar hasta 100 en tagalo (I can count up to 100 in Tagalog.)
- No saldremos hasta mañana a las 7 a.m (We won’t leave until 7AM tomorrow)
Meaning: between, among, amid
- Puedo ir entre las 4 y las 5 de la tarde (I can go bbetween 4 and 5 pm)
- Puedo hablar en español, entre otros idiomas. (I can talk in Spanish, among other languages)
Meaning: from, since
Meaning: according to
Meaning: after, behind
Besides these prepositions, there are also compound prepositions made from two or more words in Spanish, such as encima de, fuera de, delante de, después de, junto a, debajo de or gracias a.
Wow! You just learned the fundamentals to form a very complete and structured sentence in Spanish. However, these words won’t be helpful if you don’t enrich your vocabulary and grammar in Spanish. You’ll be left with empty and lonely words that you can only use to make a single-word sentence.
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